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'Benedict left pedophilia unaddressed, victims still suffering'

There is little hope that even with Pope Benedict XVI stepping down, the Catholic Church will see an end to high-profile pedophile scandals. All Catholic clergy are culpable, David Lorenz of a priest abuse survivor network told RT.

Nothing has been done by the current pope to support the victims of pedophile priests, and nothing will be done in the next papacy, Lorenz said.

David Lorenz: We are working to raise awareness for sexual abuse crimes crisis that's plagued the church a minimum of 25 years, if not hundreds of years longer. We want the church to take real action. There's been a lot of words and a lot of apologies, but there hasn't been a lot of action and we want those people who have sexually abused children to be held accountable.

RT: According to Pope Benedict, he decided to resign for health reasons. How much do you think his decision is actually connected to the numerous scandals surrounding the Vatican?

DL: There certainly are a lot of rumors and I hate to speculate on their truthfulness. I will say that clearly the sexual abuse crisis during his pontificate has probably weighted heavy on his mind. It's been difficult for him, it continually comes up. And it continually comes up primarily out of his own failings. He has not fully addressed it, he said some nice words but it hasn't been a lot of really true action. It has distracted him, it was something he had to deal with during his entire time. And it probably has caused him to wear out. If he'd only addressed it, I think it would have been a lot better.

Protesters hold placards on March 28, 2010 in London, calling for the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI over abuse scandals rocking the Church. (AFP Photo / Ben Stansall)

RT:There have been many abuse scandals. How do you rate the Vatican's efforts in these issues?

DL: Oh, the Vatican’s efforts have been abysmal. We've heard apologies, but what is the real action? We know of many many bishops who have covered up these crimes: Cardinal Mahony in the United States, Cardinal Brady in Ireland, most recently Cardinal O'Brien in Scotland. Throughout the world, there's just plenty of evidence that they've covered up these crimes. Not only they've covered it up, but they've tried to cover their tracks.

With Mahony it took legal action to bring out 12,000 pages of documentation showing that he had knowingly moved pedophiles around, and he would send pedophiles out of the country to escape legal action. And Benedict has known about this, in fact, as prefect for the congregation the CDF he required that all abuse cases go through him. So he is well aware of all of these abuse cases and yet he's done nothing to stop it or nothing to stop the bishops from covering it up.

RT: What measures could be taken to improve the tarnished reputation of the Catholic Church? Can we expect that change to happen with the next Pope?

DL: With the next Pope I don't have a lot of hope. These cardinals were all appointed by Pope Benedict and his predecessor John Paul II, and they will keep doing what these two have been doing. I don't have a lot of hope in that papacy.

What could be done is, one: They could be open and honest to reveal all the personal files of all the credibly accused priests. They could publish on their website all those names, not only of the living but of those who are dead. There is a lot of resistance to doing that. The problem is, the priest may be deceased, but the victims who are living in shame and guilt, they are still alive and they are still suffering. And just by revealing that name, it could help them to start the recovery process.